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UW President asks for mass vaccination clinics to be held at campuses

Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 9:00 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson is asking for mass vaccination clinics to be held on UW campuses across the state, similar to how surge testing is being done now.

The surge testing sites have been operating on or near those campuses since since mid-November of 2020.

However, just recently a decision was made to extend that effort, which Thompson says based on the numbers, has been a success.

“We have been able to do 170,000 tests. We found that 14,000 individuals that tested positive. We were able to quarantine a good share of them,” said Thompson.

The testing effort came through a partnership with the federal government, the only one in the country. The partnership provided the state with $35 million to set it up.

Now, Thompson says he’s hoping to transition that effort into campus based mass vaccination clinics.

“We have refrigeration units we could keep the vaccine as cold as it needs to be. We’ve got the individual personnel from our nurses and our nursing deans and individuals in other medical professions. We could do a tremendous job of vaccinating people,” said Thompson.

He says the conversation is likely to continue as the vaccine becomes more available.

“It goes thru the state and the federal government, and we’re talking to them, consulting with them. We’re saying, give us a chance. We’re ready to go. We’ll set up up a great program for vaccination and everybody wants us to do it I think,” said Thompson.

With students returning to campus following the holiday break, Thompson says those who live on campus will be tested twice a week, and off campus students will be tested once every two weeks.

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